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Consequences of correlations between habitat modifications and negative impact of climate change for regional species survival

  • While several empirical and theoretical studies have clearly shown the negative effects of climate or landscape changes on population and species survival only few of them addressed combined and correlated consequences of these key environmental drivers. This also includes positive landscape changes such as active habitat management and restoration to buffer the negative effects of deteriorating climatic conditions. In this study, we apply a conceptual spatial modelling approach based on functional types to explore the effects of both positive and negative correlations between changes in habitat and climate conditions on the survival of spatially structured populations. We test the effect of different climate and landscape change scenarios on four different functional types that represent a broad spectrum of species characterised by their landscape level carrying capacity, the local population turnover rates at the patch level (K-strategies vs. r-strategies) and dispersal characterstics. As expected, simulation results show thatWhile several empirical and theoretical studies have clearly shown the negative effects of climate or landscape changes on population and species survival only few of them addressed combined and correlated consequences of these key environmental drivers. This also includes positive landscape changes such as active habitat management and restoration to buffer the negative effects of deteriorating climatic conditions. In this study, we apply a conceptual spatial modelling approach based on functional types to explore the effects of both positive and negative correlations between changes in habitat and climate conditions on the survival of spatially structured populations. We test the effect of different climate and landscape change scenarios on four different functional types that represent a broad spectrum of species characterised by their landscape level carrying capacity, the local population turnover rates at the patch level (K-strategies vs. r-strategies) and dispersal characterstics. As expected, simulation results show that correlated landscape and climatic changes can accelerate (in case of habitat loss or degradation) or slow down (in case of habitat gain or improvement) regional species extinction. However, the strength of the combined changes depends on local turnover at the patch level, the overall landscape capacity of the species, and its specific dispersal characteristics. Under all scenarios of correlated changes in habitat and climate conditions we found the highest sensitivity for functional types representing species with a low landscape capacity but a high population growth rate and a strong density regulation causing a high turnover at the local patch level. The relative importance of habitat loss or habitat degradation, in combination with climate deterioration, differed among the functional types. However, an increase in regional capacity revealed a similar response pattern: For all types, habitat improvement led to higher survival times than habitat gain, i.e. the establishment of new habitat patches. This suggests that improving local habitat quality at a regional scale is a more promising conservation strategy under climate change than implementing new habitat patches. This conceptual modelling study provides a general framework to better understand and support the management of populations prone to complex environmental changes.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Florian JeltschORCiDGND, Kirk A. MoloneyORCiDGND, Monika Schwager, Katrin Körner, Niels Blaum
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2010.12.019
ISSN:0167-8809 (print)
Parent Title (English):Agriculture, ecosystems & environment : an international journal for scientific research on the relationship of agriculture and food production to the biosphere
Publisher:Elsevier
Place of publication:Amsterdam
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2011
Year of Completion:2011
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:Dynamic landscapes; Functional types; Habitat fragmentation; Habitat management; Spatially explicit modelling; Species conservation
Volume:145
Issue:1
Pagenumber:10
First Page:49
Last Page:58
Funder:Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG [BU 1386]; European Union [MTKD-CT-2006-042261]; State of Brandenburg, the University of Potsdam; University of Applied Sciences Eberswalde
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften
Peer Review:Referiert